Since 1983, with the publication of five well-known national reports calling for reform in education, the later release of other reports by prestigious groups (such as the Carnegie Task Force on Teaching as a Profession and the Holmes Group), and the enactment of approximately 700 state statutes focused on school reform, the push for excellence has overshadowed earlier commitments to equity in schools. As Orlich writes, “In at least one instance, implementing the proposals of these two groups [Carnegie and Holmes] would have the same undesirable effect: reducing the number of minority teachers from few to virtually none.” This movement for excellence has had a narrowing effect on the level of social consciousness concerning sex and race equity in schools and in society. Any movement which restricts the growth of equity should be examined critically; for it, both as a topic of study and as a fact in practice, is a necessary component of an excellent and complete preparation of teachers in a pluralistic society. By providing programs that both “preach and practice” equity principles, today's teacher educators assist the next generation of teachers to develop a contextual understanding of the field of teaching and a heightened social consciousness of their role in education.

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